AirAsia crash: Chinese president offers condolences

Beijing, Dec 30 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday offered condolences to his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo on the crash of an AirAsia plane in the Java Sea.

Xi said in his message that he was shocked by the news of the AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 crashing while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, killing a large number of people including Indonesian nationals, Xinhua reported.
The aircraft, an Airbus A320-200 was carrying 162 passengers and crew onboard, which included 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans and one person each from Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and France.
Xi said that on behalf of the Chinese government and people, he expressed his profound sympathies to Indonesia over the tragic incident.
He also voiced grief for all victims onboard the plane and extended condolences to their families.
The aircraft vanished from the radar screen 42 minutes after taking off from Surabaya.
The aircraft was at 32,000 feet over the Java Sea in Indonesian territory when it lost contact with the air traffic control amid a raging thunderstorm in the area.
The Indonesian government and AirAsia Tuesday said the wreckage of the plane was found in the Java Sea, and an unspecified number of bodies were retrieved.